I had an epiphany yesterday. I'm a time traveler. Yep, you heard right. And there are more time travelers like me out there. Thousands of them. Maybe millions. You may know one. We call ourselves writers but the truth is, we have found the key to bending the space time continuum.
Here's how I discovered this startling truth about myself.
My husband and I were driving to lunch yesterday. He turned to me and said,
Husband: "What do you think they'll serve at the party tonight?"
Me: "Hmm...good question."
Husband: "Salmon bites? Cheese plate?"
Me: "Mmmm... salmon."
An hour later... Me: "What do you think they will have to eat at the party tonight?"
Husband: "We just had this conversation an hour ago. Where were you? You even responded to me."
It may be a little annoying at times for my husband, but for me... to be called out on these moments can be downright perplexing. Seriously, where was I a moment ago?
When I thought about it, I realized in that moment in the car, I had been re-imagining what my husband was saying. By re-imagining, I mean that I was thinking about the exact same situation - the car, the conversation, etc., but I was changing my husband's dialogue slightly. I can't remember exactly what changes I made or why - but I'm fairly certain that's what was happening.
The funny thing is, this happens almost constantly to me during the day. I am almost always re-imagining moments of my life as they are happening - or imagining situations that have yet to arrive.
This part of my personality that allows me to travel through time, reliving events or experiencing a future yet experienced, is the same part of me that compels me to be a writer. In a sense, these moments are my attempt to write my own experience. It doesn't matter if the things I imagine happen or not - it's the act of telling a story in my head that matters.
And hence, this is how I realized that I'm actually a time traveler.
I relive the present moment, forge ahead into the future, and return to the present moment, dozens of times during the day.
I just finished season one of West World. Like many fans of this HBO series, I watched episodes back to back totally enthralled. The storytelling was incredible. The leaps in time, the foreshadowing, backstory, dream sequences, memories... I imagine the writers of this show to be like the Olympians. The fact that they were able to drop narrative linearity completely and tell a coherent and incredibly moving story, is a Herculean effort. I hope they are rewarded amply for their talent.
What struck me after the final episode was just how much I could relate to Dolores. The time lapses, the "Quantum Leap" like moments she experienced over and over again, though, slightly differently... yeah duh. I get it. I do that all the time. Is that weird? To me, it's just life.
So next time you're talking to a writer and she gets a glazed look on her face and responds in 1-2 words, you might take pause. Instead of continuing with the conversation, wait a moment for the writer to return to Earth and then ask what she was thinking of moments before. You may be surprised the answer you get. Perhaps you may experience a bit of time travel too.